Flagged Bill – HB 57: Electronic Information or Data Privacy; Representative Craig Hall

Representative Craig Hall

Last year, Representative Craig Hall (Republican – West Valley) attempted to update Utah’s Constitution in an attempt to add greater protections to our digital documents. He was rebuffed at the time over concerns that an amendment was a step too far that may ultimately bind the justice system from doing its job down the road as new technologies are developed.

This year, Hall is back with a statutory change (as opposed to a constitutional change) that ultimately hopes to provide citizens the same 4th Amendment rights he initially set out to protect last year while providing greater flexibility for future legislatures.

HB 57: Electronic Information or Data Privacy makes it clear that just because a person saves information to a 3rd party service and/or cloud based such as Google Drive or Dropbox their data is still protected.

Currently, the law is very clear that a warrant is needed if law enforcement wants to search your personal hard drive or flash drive – what isn’t clear under current law is if the same rules apply if law enforcement approaches a company like Dropbox, asks to see documents you have on your Dropbox account, and Dropbox willfully complies.

If passed, HB 57 ensures that law enforcement has to follow the same legal steps necessary to take possession of physical papers or storage devices as it does to take possession of digital documents that happen to be stored elsewhere. Such a policy logically follows, makes sense, and ensures that law enforcement doesn’t engage in unreasonable search and seizures.

To contact Representative Hall, Click Here or call 801-573-1774

You can track this, and all of our other flagged bills, by clicking here. Need an explanation of scores? Click Here.

Impact on the Average Utahn – 5 | Need for Legislation – 5 | Lemon Score – 0
Overall Grade – A

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